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Philosophy (from the Greek, philosophia) literally means the love of wisdom. This discipline studies the nature of the world and human conduct and the basis for human knowledge. Among the major areas of study in philosophy are logic, metaphysics (study of being or reality), epistemology (origin and nature of human knowledge), aesthetics (evaluative study of beauty, often as applied in the arts), and ethics. This guide is designed to be an entry into the study of philosophy and provides information on useful resources available in the Azusa Pacific University libraries. Resource collections in philosophy may be reviewed by key ideas, personalities, cultures, and time periods.

Introductory Resources

Subject Introduction

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A good introductory review of philosophy and key concepts which might be helpful in your studies is:

Chronological and Thematic Charts of Philosophies and Philosophers
Milton D. Hunnex
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1986
BD21 .H725 1986

Reference Books

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These works may provide introductory and background information related to your topic. Look for bibliographies within the articles to help you find additional resources.

A Companion to the Philosophers (Blackwell Companions to Philosophy)
Robert L. Arrington, ed.
Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1999
B72 .C595 1999

A Companion to the Philosophers includes signed articles that are arranged by cultures, such as African, Chinese, European, Islamic, etc.

The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy
Robert L. Audi, ed.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995
B41 .C35 1995

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Edward Craig, ed.
London: Routledge, 1998
B51 .R68 1998 (vs 1-10)

Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Paul Edwards, ed.
New York, NY: Macmillan Press, 1967
B41 .E5 1967 (vs 1-8)

Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Supplement
New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 1996
B41 .E5 1996 suppl

The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Supplement is related to the 8-volume work listed above it.

Dictionary of World Philosophy
A. Pablo Iannone
London: Routledge, 2001
B41 .I26 2001

Stamps Theological Library has a variety of dictionaries and companion volumes related to specific philosophers and time periods. You can search for these by the name of the philosopher and adding the term encyclopedias. Here is an example:

Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo – Encyclopedias

With this search, you will locate a very helpful encyclopedia on Augustine:

Augustine through the Ages: An Encyclopedia
Allan D. Fitzgerald, ed.
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999
B655 .Z69 A84 1999

Find Books & Media

Books and media in the APU University Libraries can be found by using the APOLIS2 online catalog.

Subject Headings and Call Number Ranges

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Philosophy(General works)
Knowledge, Theory of (Epistemology)
B 1-5802
BC 1-199
BD 95-131
BD 143-237
BD 300-450
BD 493-701
BH 1-301
BJ 1-1725

When searching for philosophers/scholars in the Catholic Church, many times the preferred subject heading starts with their first name. A good example is St. Thomas Aquinas, who is searched as:

Thomas, Aquinas, Saint, 1225?-1274

Most authors in the subject field will include the birth and death dates, if known. This can be especially helpful if two individuals have similar names and the time period is then the clue you use to locate the correct person.


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The following books may provide a background or introduction to your subject:

A Brief History of Western Philosophy
Anthony Kenny
Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1998
B72 .K44 1998

Philosophy 1: A Guide through the Subject
Philosophy 2: Further Through the Subject

A.C. Grayling, ed.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998
BD21 .P468 1998
BD21 .P469 1998

Philosophy 1 and Philosophy 2 present overview essays on major themes and key thinkers in philosophy.

Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction
Edward Craig
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002
B74 .C83 2002

Classics of Philosophy
Louis P. Pojman, ed.
New York: Oxford University Press, 1998
B21 .C557 1998 (vs 1-2)

Philosophy: The Classics
Nigel Warburton
London: Routledge, 1998
B52 .W37 1998

Although the books highlighted represent themes in western philosophy, the Stamps Theological Library has growing resources in non-western philosophical traditions as well. These may be located by searching the culture or religious background, such as:

Classic Asian Philosophy: A Guide to the Essential Texts
Joel J. Kupperman
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001
B121 .K85 2001

Media By Subject

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The media collections below have interviews with famous philosophers discussing a variety of subjects. Selecting one of the tapes in the series may be helpful in grasping a difficult concept. All of the media collections are housed in the Marshburn (MML) Library. Complete lists of the contents of these series are found with the item record in APOLIS.

Great Ideas of Philosophy I & II (13 DVD series)
Films for the Humanities, 2005
B72 .G743 2005

Modern Philosophy (16 videotape series)
BBC/Films for the Humanities and Sciences, 1997
B791 .M65 1997

The Modern Philosophy videotapes are comprised of interviews first aired on the BBC in 1976 with prominent 20th century philosophers.

Knowledge, Theory of (Epistemology)

Subject Bibliographies

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Philosophy: A Guide to the Reference Literature
Hans E. Bynagle
Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1997
Z7125 .B97 1997

World Philosophy: A Contemporary Bibliography
John R. Burr and Charlotte A. Burr, eds.
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993
Z7125 .W87 1993

The Collaborative Bibliography of Women in Philosophy
Noel Hutchings and William D. Rumsey, eds.
Bowling Green, OH: Philosophy Documentation Center, 1997
B105 .W6 C65 1997

Resources in Non-APU Libraries

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LINK+ LINK+ is a single catalog for 40+ California libraries that have a cooperative borrowing and lending arrangement for books only. This service is for APU faculty, staff and students, and is free. Items usually come within 2-3 work days.
WorldCat WorldCat is a single catalog for hundreds of North American and international libraries. Books and other library resources may be requested from this catalog through the interlibrary loan service. This service is for APU faculty, staff and students, and costs $2.00 per item requested. Items usually come within 7-10 work days.

Find Journal Articles

Print journals in the APU University Libraries can be found by using the APOLIS2 online catalog. Besides the print collection of journals, you may also obtain journal articles through many of APU Libraries’ online databases.


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The APU Libraries currently receive 92 journals in the fields of philosophy, many of which are available electronically. The indexes to the philosophy journals are all electronic resources, so this is your best starting place.

Journal Title Available Formats
Faith and Philosophy: The Journal of the Society of Christian Philosophers Print
Journal of Philosophical Research Print
Journal of the History of Ideas Print
Mind: A Quarterly Review of Philosophy Print
Philosophy East & West Print

Print Periodical Indexes

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At this time, we don't own any print indexes that would provide a substantial amount of indexing for philosophy journals. However, our databases provide significant indexing in the area of philosophy --- see the next section.


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For a description of each database, go to the online resources page and look up the database by title.

Academic Search Premier
Philosopher's Index
ProQuest Religion
Project Muse

Several databases overlap philosophy, religion and theology and these may also be excellent resources to review:

ATLA Religion Database with ATLAS
Catholic Periodical and Literature Index
Index to Jewish Periodical Literature
Christian Periodical Index

Two databases include the full text of books of many important philosophical and/or religious works. These are:

Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts
Past Masters

Both of the databases above include search fields – in Past Masters, it looks a bit like a concordance feature. You can search within a book or author, such as a search on “Augustine” and “predestination,” to determine every place Augustine mentions this concept, and links to the text to view it in context.

Getting Journal Articles

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Periodical Finder Sometimes while using a database, article records are found without any corresponding full-text article. Use Periodical Finder to see whether or not the article can be found in full-text in a different database. It can also be used to look up the full-text availability of items found in bibliographies.
Articles not at APU If a journal article is unavailable in either the print journal collection or one of the online databases, it can be requested through interlibrary loan.

Find Internet Resources

Professional Organizations/Government Agency Websites

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American Catholic Philosophical Association
American Philosophical Association
Evangelical Philosophical Society
Society of Christian Philosophers
Wesleyan Philosophical Society

Philosophy Organizations
This is a huge listing of philosophy organizations, and is searchable by both topic and philosopher.

Other Websites

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Carnegie-Mellon University: Philosophy
This site contains links to classic texts and to philosophy associations.

Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a collection of original articles contributed by specialized philosophers around the Internet, and are identifiable by the author's name at the foot of the article.

Internet Medieval Sourcebook
The Internet Medieval Sourcebook is a large collection of primary source documents and other online resources dating from the end of the Roman Empire through the Reformation and beyond.

Online Books Page
This site has links to more than 25,000 full text books, including many in philosophy and theology. The site is searchable by author, title or subject.

Philosophers Web Index
This site provides links to resources on the web on 188 philosophers and may be viewed through an alphabetical or timeline list.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a high-quality online reference resource, with refereed entries maintained and kept up to date by an expert or group of experts in the field.

Virtual Library of Christian Philosophy
This site includes articles by Christian philosophers representing primarily a Reformed perspective.

Virtual Religion Index
This site includes an extensive index to resources in philosophy and theology.

Wabash Center Internet Guide
This site has indexes to the best of the web in philosophy, religion, and theology. It’s one of my favorite Internet resources and is kept up to date.

Free Online Journals

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Directory of Open Access Journals: Philosophy & Religion

Quodlibet: The Online Journal of Philosophy and Theology

Blogs/RSS Feeds

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Don’t have a feed reader? Try Google Reader ( or Bloglines (

Written by Subject Specialist Liz Leahy, March 13, 2013